Tolkien Reads from Lord of the Rings

Every Saturday of the month of MayFurther In has explored the various poetical works of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien and today we conclude this month-long revel. Unfortunately, his body of poetry extends far beyond the limits of four scandalously brief journal entries. It was only our intention to provide: 1.) a briefest introduction to his poetry; 2.) a beautiful and peaceful weekend reprieve from the darkness of the world; 3.) a glimpse of truth,  If you would be interested in reading a deeper dive into his or any other classical poet’s work, leave a comment in the comment section.

You might notice I said “classical poet” just now. Indeed I did, and that was not by mistake. Professor Tolkien was both student and professor of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, which means that he had forgotten more about poetry and the history of the Anglo-Saxon world than the vast majority of his peers had collectively ever known. Tolkien was, indeed, a classical man. His literature, as his poetry, was written both in style and purpose as classical. His crowning masterpiece, what may well be required reading even in heaven, The Lord of the Rings, was, I firmly believe, the last epic poem. It was not a simple story about the fantastical; it was very much a vehicle for the transmission of the values and beliefs that for much of the history of Western Civilization had been the dominant worldview.

I must catch myself before spiraling into a long piece about the good professor’s genius (he created entire intelligible languages and histories!). Sorry.

The chances are good that you have come across this before, but perhaps you have not. If you have not, then you are certainly in for a treat. Below, you will be given the chance to listen to the great man himself, Professor Tolkien, read excerpts from Lord of the Rings. It is, simply, perfect. And not to be forgotten is Tolkien’s thorough distaste for modern technology. Lest we forget, he once recited the Our Father in Gothic over a tape recorder before reading into it. That any recordings exist of his voice is, frankly, remarkable.

The excerpts come almost entirely from the various poems and songs found in his masterpiece. There is a moment around the 4:30 mark that, while I do not want to ruin the sublimity for you, is certainly sublime. Certainly, it is sublime. This is an excellent contribution to one’s spirit, and to Western Civilization. Enjoy this thoroughly.


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